Atlanta’s great collapse — and no, it’s not the Braves

I hate to bring this up on the morning after the Braves completed their monumental collapse, but ….

From Dan Chapman at the AJC:

“The Atlanta region lost more jobs the last year than any other metro area, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Wednesday, further evidence that the post-recessionary slump here shows little sign of abating.

Metro Atlanta shed 30,800 jobs since August 2010. Kansas City — 12,800 positions erased — was the closest competitor in job-losses. Nearly all of Atlanta’s peer metro areas added at least some jobs amid the slow economic recovery.”

… “Out of almost 400 metropolitan areas, we’re dead last and nobody is competing with us for that distinction,” said Chris Cunningham, a BLS statistician in Atlanta. “It’s pretty bad and it has been the same story for the last two, three years.”

I don’t get it.

You mean that a strategy of cutting taxes lower and lower, of refusing to spend money to modernize the transportation system that made you prosperous in the first place, of slashing state support for k-12 and higher education year after year, of kowtowing to developers and other businesses at the expense of quality of life for those who actually live here, of largely ignoring the needs of your state’s largest metro area — you mean that doesn’t work?

After all that, this is what we get?

– Jay Bookman

709 comments Add your comment

Vast Right Wing Conspiracy

September 29th, 2011
9:25 pm

Jay, you have really got to get over your obsession with higher taxes. You need professional help. In the meantime, if it would make you feel better, send all your money to the government, to whichever branch your heart desires. I pay too much. Kept the receipts one year – Federal, state, property, ad valorem, sales, phone, water, ….., another 25 to 30 line-items. Its in the range of 55% to 60% – too much. The Dear Leader passed the “blood from a turnip” stage a couple of years ago. Especially when everybody figures out Treasuries are worthless and start demanding 5% to 10% for them, depending on maturity. How much money did MARTA make last year, sans subsidies? I forbid my family to ride it – its too dangerous.


September 29th, 2011
9:58 pm

All this joblessness, recession, down-turn (whatever you want to call it) was caused by Congress demanding that houses be sold to parasites who had no intention of paying the mortgage. Bookman knows this and attempts to cover it up with his liberal nonsense.

lynnie gal

September 29th, 2011
10:18 pm

Republicans have ruined this country, the states and the cities. Their philosophy does not work in the real world and when it’s obvious that they don’t, they double down on the failed policies. They have no compassion, no intelligence, they are soul-less and most of them are insane. We in Georgia are living in a Republican sanitarium where up is down and right is wrong and Orwellian speech provides their talking points. They have destroyed the economy of this state. Republicans have become a bunch of freaks.


September 29th, 2011
10:35 pm

What happened to AJC’s Henry Unger and the Biz Beat Blog?


September 29th, 2011
11:04 pm

“I don’t get it.”

I do. Next time take a close look at the people in one of those mile long job fair lines. How many of them would you hire? Bless their hearts, for a lot of them their ultimate Peter Principle destination will be something in the fast food, car wash, or airport screening industries.


September 30th, 2011
1:57 am

Wow! You surely touched a nerve highlighting this inconvenient little fact of life didn’t you, Jay? I am a traditional Pub conservative, and my only response is . . . tell it all, brother . . . tell it all! If you should ever have a chance to travel north of Ball Ground and get up towards Jasper, Ellijay, Blue Ridge, Blairsville, Helen and Clayton, and into the mountains, as I have had the privilege of doing (not being cynical here, the north Georgia mountain areas and towns are beautiful, scemic, relaxing, and peaceful, and populated by kind and friendly people), you will find that those good people live in their own world and do not give one fat rat’s ass about what happens in, around, or to the City of Atlanta. Scratch a little deeper and you will find those same feelings in Cobb, Gwinett, north and south Fulton, Paulding, Cherokee, Forsyth, and Henry counties, and others toward Atlanta, and vice versa. And the north Georgians pretty much feel the same way about middle Georgia, the coastal plain, and south Georgia too. Those feelings, I’m sure, are mutually held. After many years of living here, I have concluded that it is pretty much a “Georgia” thing, for whatever reason. “You’re from out of state, aren’t you?” made famous in a Burt Reynolds movie from the early 80’s filmed in Atlanta,,would be a pretty funny joke, if it wasn’t so sadly true, and so sadly detrimental to the long term well being of this state. More sadly, the more correct usage is “You’re not from around here, are you?” and that says it all. In completely Balkanized Georgia, that has more meaning than in any place I have ever lived, including Alabama. It is the kind of thing that a Sandy Springs or Roswell resident would say to an Atlanta resident, and vice versa — not to mention in neighboring counties or regions. A modern transporation system tying Atlanta to surrounding counties, or regions to other regions is a complete pipe dream. Georgians as a whole will never go for it. I grew up in a tri-state area (Cincinnati) where not only was there a cooperative regional county and municipal authority working together, but also an interstate regional authority with representatives from Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana all working together and cooperating for the good of the entire tri-state area. If someone in Georgia proposed something like that, people would want to know what planet they came from. You cannot get two neighboring counties or cities in Georgia to work together to resolve huge traffic problems with one main traffic artery hurting all of their citizens, let alone anything else. Georgia just might as well concede that all cities, towns, counties, regions, etc. are “gated communities” and if you’re not from around here, your’re not welcome. Besides, what’s all this I hear about transportation problems?, as Emily Latella of Saturday Night Live might have once asked. As long as we have GDOT we can build more roads, more lanes, more restricted lanes, more highways, more arteries, pavement, more cars, more, more, more. Hell, pave the whole damned state just as long as we don’t have to worry about someone who is “from out of state,” or “who ain’t like us.”


September 30th, 2011
7:00 am

Here are two examples of why Georgia is so badly hit by the recession.

In March 2009, six months into the recession, the state legislature was too busy (repealing gun control laws) to pass a simple procedural law needed to tide MARTA through the crisis. The governor had to issue an emergency order to fix their blunder. And later when Georgia was leading the nation in bank failures, the legislature decided that illegal immigration was the state’s biggest problem.

November 6, 2012

September 30th, 2011
8:51 am

Well, you know, I’ll throw in my two cents worth…….businesses have begun to realize that the problems the Metro Atlanta Region has, particularly the City of Atlanta is not conducive to investing in and hiring new workers. I mean, look at the school systems……who in their right mind would move to the city knowing they had to put their children in ANY city of atlanta school? And then there’s the crime and, worst of all is MARTA, the most ill managed large city transportation system in the country. This system only cares about serving and employing one class of people, i. e., they’re “RACISTS”. And the school board, and the city council and the heads of all the major departments and so on and so on and so on and the stupid, and I mean stupid decision to spend millions and millions on a streetcar that will be bankrupt within three years after starting operation and then there’s the highest water and sewer bills in the world and people working the system that can’t read meters and, I mean…….WHY WOULD YOU LOCATE A BUSINESS HERE???????? The atmosphere is totally, TOTALLY anti-business and then there’s the imcompetent people trying to manage the city, they’re doing about as good a job as Obummer is doing bungling up America…….c’mon, people,it ain’t gonna get any better til it gets better :)


October 2nd, 2011
5:58 pm

Being liberal must be fun. You don’t have to think much. Jay, it’s not the amount of taxes we pay, it’s what government does with them. Overpaying for land in DeKalb, and Gwinnett and Fulton counties to make a beltline park is waste. So is trying to run a county (DeKalb) without professional managers. Then there’s the big transportation tax. Read Kyle Wingfield’s column. Do you think it’s a good idea to build an entirely new rail system that parallels a set of tracks we could use for a whole lot less. Throwing money at problems does not build jobs. It may build political fiefdoms and a lot of stuff we don’t need, but that’s not what you seem to be saying we need.